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HOME IN EXILE                              301

favours from Su, nor from the other high officials he knew. He had
disappeared, and now here, of all places, Su ran across him again. Wu
was a real Taoist. Bodily and spiritual freedom, and a care-free heart,
were what the Taoist cared for most, and by having a strong body and
few simple wants, many of them were able to live a much-envied life
of freedom* The price for such freedom was the willingness to for-
sake fame and wealth, the ability to endure simple food, dress, and
shelter, to travel a thousand miles on foot, and to sleep in the open
if necessary. Wu Fuku wanted nothing from the world, He appeared
and disappeared, a reminder to the poet of what he might have been
had he not got involved in politics.

On October 2, 1094, two years before the First Crusade in Europe,
Tungpo arrived at the city of Huichow. Many things were new to
him and yet familiar. It was a sub-tropical country and he saw orange-
groves, sugar-cane, lichi trees, banana orchards, and pinlang palms. It
was far from a bad place in which to live. Two rivers came from the
north and joined at a point east of the city. For the first fortnight, Su
Tungpo put up at a government building by courtesy of the local
magistrate. Standing on top of the Hochiang Tower at the junction
of the rivers, he saw the big broad stream flowing Jxneath past die
city, and on the opposite bank the hilly town of Kueishan county was
'built on a sharp slope. Rocks and boulders lined the banks where idle
citizens were fishing. Directly north of the city lay the tall mountains
of Lofu and Elephant's Trunk, which he knew he was going to

Here was the south of China, not as he had imagined it to be, but
full of dark-green vegetation and sub-tropical fruits. "South of the'
high mountain teeming families enjoy an eternal spring." The people
were surprised to see the poet and did not know for what crime he was
banished to their district. Su thought of Su Wu, who was exiled to
the Mongolian desert and never suspected that in his old age he was
to return to China; and he thought of Kuan Ning, who was exiled to
northern Manchuria and chose to remain there for life, Huichow was
beautiful and the people were good to him. After he moved across the
bank to Chiayu Temple, he said that very soon even the dogs and the
chickens knew him.

His attitude towards life is well expressed in a little note he wrote
on the Pinewood Pavilion across the bank. After moving to the Chiayu
Temple, he often stayed at this pavilion on top of the bill. He was
returning home one day and saw it appear high up above the tree-tops,
and his old legs felt tired. Suddenly he thought: "Why can't I sfcop
below? Where in the world cannot one rest? Once you perceive that,
you feel like a fish that has escaped the fisherman's hook.**